Sharing moments Young adults Bye bye Hotel Mum How you feel at home Semester abroad Language course abroad or work as an au pair? Be prepared Grassrooted The world’s calling Make an impression Contraception Vegan diet Planning a family Tracking fertility The right time? How men can help Fertility and diet Medical check-up What you need to know about ovulation What to do if you don’t conceive straight away Three electronic fertility and cycle trackers in comparison Planning a family and partnership Pregnancy Examinations during pregnancy Diet and nutrition Is my pregnancy progressing normally? Tips for daily life Important points for travel and holidays Is my pregnancy progressing normally? What items do I need for my baby? Where and how do I want to give birth? What do I need to pack for the hospital? How should I prepare my home for my child? Is my pregnancy progressing normally? How can I best prepare for my baby? How can I best prepare for the birth? Nutrition Parent-child relationship Preparing for breastfeeding | Sanitas Magazine Insurance Stretch marks Sleep Rupture of membranes Baby blues High-risk pregnancy Braxton Hicks & false labour Formalitites Morning sickness Family rooms Our baby Bathing baby – what you need to know How babies hear Infant first-aid kit Baby care Is my baby developing normally? Month-to-month overview of baby development Is my baby developing normally? Month-to-month overview of baby development Baby care Breastfeeding Celebrating and enjoyment Christmas and New Year’s Eve with a twist A philosophical take on pleasure Pleasure can also be found in the soup kitchen in Zurich Tips for a peaceful and stress-free Christmas Living better with cardiac insufficiency Alejandro Iglesias Hana Disch Patrizio Orlando Other countries Hay fever Everyday help In pursuit of happiness Seven tips for a happier daily life Kids in lockdown Online addiction Be active Active during pregnancy Sport and exercise during pregnancy Antenatal exercise classes Standing properly Healthy eating Green smoothies Vitamin D Good eggs, bad eggs Diet plan Healthy fats Feed your muscles How much sugar should we eat a day? How much fat should we eat a day? Lactose intolerance Healthy diet, strong immune system Low Carb Healthy heart Interview with Christophe Wyss Heart-friendly sports How the mind affects the heart Taking blood pressure correctly High blood pressure: what you need to know Healthy teeth Changing habits Interview Stortpsychologie 10-step guide to changing habits Try, try, try again Running coaching Running ABC Race in Sarnen Factors affecting condition Weekly planner Running shoes Strengthening exercises Running nutrition Complementary sport Warm-up Stretching Functional clothing Fitness tracker Shopping – sportswear Running tips for women Relaxation technique Recovery New lease of life thanks to Sanitas running coaching Running training The first half marathon Training and heart rate Running Ticks Sport after childbirth Postnatal exercise Taking the strain off your shoulders Kangatraining Workout while walking Expert tips Stress and relaxation Moving air Fight stress with yoga What is stress Learn how to relax Dealing with stress What is burnout? “The first step was to create boundaries” Juggling family and a career Reduce stress Stressor factors The most beautiful Swiss saunas Sweating in the sauna Breathing exercises for relaxation The right rest & recovery: debunking myths Mindfulness Sleep Trend sports Fitness boxing Slackline Bouldering Fascia training Stand Up Paddling Keeping fit efficiently Swing with a smile! Vertical workout Hiking Altitude sickness Seven stroller-friendly hikes Needed: a hiking-friendly pushchair There goes the other sole! Tips on hiking with a baby Mountain lakes Planning a family: Fertility and exercise Stair climbing Pumptrack Your back Kids’ back Back exercises Sitting properly at work Forest fun Playing for life Promoting health and fitness Motivation Sledging Curling glossary What do you get if you cross a kite with snow? Snowshoeing Preventing falls Inline skating Swimming Swimming Wings for Life Stretching Bike tips Stretching exercises for cyclists koerper-und-kaelte Healthy teeth thanks to dental hygiene and preventive care Putting wishes into practice Tips for healthy teeth Hometraining Investigating teeth-related myths 10 tips to ease anxiety Hand care How our body regenerates Bauchübungen Keeping fit on holiday Swim training aids Wie viel Sport ist gesund Living together today Digital life Online addiction Digital temptation Children and digital media Smartphone neck Our brains love habit Change my habits? You’re joking! Planning a family: Difficulties trying to have a baby Planning a family: Myth vs fact Solidarity study Newcomers Living together tomorrow Digital nomads Giesserei multi-generation house The blind film director Help instead of rent Working on the move Medical practices of the future Our skin – layer by layer Generational discussion: wishes for life Hausarzt und Corona Safe return to work Corona crisis: singing together Corona crisis: Working in intensive care Corona crisis: working in a nursing home Rest and recovery: learning from children Corona crisis: voluntary work for the needy Second opinion Relationships and children Gute Nacht! Drei Fragen, die uns den Schlaf rauben Outing Developments for the future App check Aqualert SRC blood donor Codecheck Forest Freedom Freeletics Moment Sleep Better PeakFinder Findery Six fitness apps reviewed Internet use High-tech trousers Prostheses Hospital of the future New skin for burns victims Online-Therapien Sanitas newsletter
Dossier: Our baby

Is my baby developing normally?

It’s important to remember that each child develops in its own way. In addition, children in Africa develop differently to children in Europe, and children in Asia differently to children in America, for example. Some babies are more courageous, others more fearful, some walk at 12 months, others only start talking at the age of two. But for all this variation, there are milestones that apply broadly to all the babies in a particular culture – some will come earlier, others a bit later. Key developments at a glance:

Speech perception and speech sounds

  • 3 to 4 months: recognise intonation patterns in the native language
  • 5 to 6 months: recognise emotional significance of words
  • 8 to 9 months: recognise words in stream of speech
  • 10 to 12 months: understand the meaning of words
  • 16 to 30 months: understanding of grammatical rules
  • 30 to 36 months: overgeneralisation of grammatical rules

Speech production

  • 1 month: cooing
  • 3 to 5 months: gurgling
  • 7 to 8 months: babbling (double syllables)
  • 8 to 10 months: jargoning (gibberish)
  • 11 to 12 months: first words
  • 18 months: huge increase in vocabulary
  • 20 to 30 months: two-word sentences
  • 30 to 36 months: three to four-word sentences

Parents can offer their children only limited support when it comes to language development. However, in the first few months, babies like it when you answer them and imitate their sounds – or even make new sounds. You don’t have to babble in “baby talk”; just speak normally. Babies like to hear your voice and have your attention by taking part in a simple conversation. Between 3 and 6 months, your baby will enjoy playing with toys that make sounds and noise. He’ll also like to hear your commentary on what’s happening, e.g. “That’s a lovely soft sheep.”

Perception, language and thought

Babies soon learn to express themselves. At 3 months your baby will have different cries to express his needs (hunger, annoyance, boredom) and will rely on you to interpret them correctly. He will also be gurgling and laughing now. At 6 months he’ll be babbling in different pitches and can recognise other people’s moods.

Motor development

Development progresses at its own pace and cannot and shouldn’t be forced. This also applies to motor development. It’e enough for you to create good conditions for this. For example, a baby will train his own motor skills – at his own pace – as long as he has sufficient freedom to move and is not always strapped into a rocker. Broad development steps:

  • Up to 4 months: head control
  • Up to 9 months: sitting unaided
  • Up to 15 months: walking

Crawling

At 3 or 4 months, babies adopt a seal pose – head stretched forwards inquisitively, lying on their tummies with the upper body supported on the lower arms and hands, elbows stretched. It’s the perfect position to explore the world from their play mat. This isn’t just an important step in your child’s motor development; it also shows that your child has excellent control of his visual attention, as he not only responds to stimuli but also seeks them out.

Sitting

Your baby shouldn’t sit up before 4 months, because his muscles can’t yet support his own body weight. Always remember to support his head when he’s in your arms. In most cases, children will hold themselves automatically from 6 months and will sit independently for the first time around now.

Sucking and grabbing

Babies need to master several skills in order to put an object in their mouth. And the training starts early. In the 4th week of pregnancy, many children are already sucking their finger in the womb, showing they’ve mastered hand-mouth coordination. You know they’ve got the hang of hand-eye coordination when they bring a hand to their face, watch it and move their fingers at the same time. From around the 3rd month, children can bring their hands together, demonstrating successful hand-hand coordination. From the 5th month, babies can usually grab a chosen object.

From milk to food

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusively breastfeeding for the first 6 months. The latest findings in baby food research indicate that 4 months is the best age to start adding small amounts of food to your baby’s diet. Trying out a wide variety of foods can help prevent allergies. Initially, your baby will only suck on cooked carrots, pieces of bread, cooked slices of apple, etc. Always watch your baby while he’s eating because there’s a risk of choking! Gradually, you can expand the range of finger food you try out, especially with children who don’t like purées. Like everything else, eating habits are very individual. At around 6 months, your baby will be ready to eat from a spoon. He can consciously close his mouth, hold his tongue down and swallow the purée or other types of food.

Self-recognition

This skill develops at around 18 months when your child will recognise himself in the mirror and thus be aware of himself as an individual being.

Social skills and stranger anxiety

At 3 months, babies can hold eye contact and turn their heads to do so. They enjoy being talked to and will smile at familiar and strange faces alike while learning to differentiate between the two. Stranger anxiety begins at around 8 months.

Sleep

On average, newborn babies sleep for 18 out of 24 hours, i.e. three-quarters of the day, but they don’t tend to sleep for long periods – not even at night, because they need to eat much more often than adults or even young children. In the first 3 months, your baby will have a sleep-wake cycle, sleeping a little longer at night, but he will wake more often than an adult and won’t sleep as deeply. This cycle varies from baby to baby, but generally you can expect your baby to sleep for up to two hours at a time during the day and from four to six hours at night. Some babies will sleep through the night after a few weeks, while most continue to wake up for months, others even up to a year.

Morning and afternoon naps

At the age of 3 months, your baby will sleep around twice as long at night as during the day. At 6 months, your baby’s morning and afternoon naps will become longer but less frequent. At this age, he’ll tend to sleep for around 11 hours with short interruptions, and for half an hour during the day. However, your baby’s sleep-wake cycle –  just like yours – will depend on his daily eating pattern, body temperature and hormone balance.

Routine

As your child has his own biorhythm, he won’t always be able to sleep when you want him to. However, a standard routine and fixed eating and sleeping times will help support his biorhythm.